ON ANZAC Day, April 25, Australians remember and pay respects to those who have served their country and perhaps also made the ultimate sacrifice.
The organisation Soldier On believes it is equally important to continue to remember those Defence personnel who are still with us and doing it tough as a result of their service.
Currumbin RSL Club will do this on Sunday, April 30, by supporting the third Mateship Run, with the route starting and finishing at the club, via Currumbin Surf Club.
All money raised helps fund Soldier On clinical psychologist Brett Rufus, who is based at the Currumbin RSL Veterans' Support Centre.
Soldier On supports those who have served by focusing on their physical and mental health, their community and their future.
Vietnam veteran Ron Workman has been Currumbin RSL president for the past 22 years.
He says the presence of Brett Rufus at the Currumbin RSL has proven to be a very effective move with positive outcomes.
More than 3000 veterans have used the support centre since it opened in 1998.
"The importance of psychologist Brett is a critical move to connect with contemporary veterans at a local community level, with an open-door approach, and to never knock back a veteran who calls or calls into the Veterans' Support Centre," he said.
"The veteran has made the effort to make contact for a reason - they need help - and you can never refuse.
"There have been known cases where other facilities put the veteran onto a lengthy waiting list."
Ron and his wife Marj will take part in the Mateship Run this month, and recalls an incident from last year's "walk".
"We were having such a great time talking and walking with the other participants that we forgot to turn around at the correct place and ended up walking 5km instead of 1.5km," he said.
"It's a great event that brings the whole community together - young, old, fit or not-so-fit.
"There is such exuberance in the air. It really is a great morning."
Teams from businesses and other groups are invited to join the Mateship Run Challenge.
The 60 & Better Walking Group, sponsored by The Pines Elanora, has taken up the challenge.
Tom Fletcher, who's nominated the 5km walk, has been with the walking group for four years.
"The Mateship Run is to help the veterans and their families. That's the main purpose," he said.
"I love walking. You're out in the fresh air and sun. I like the outdoors.
"It's great company, being with these people."
The walking group meets at The Pines every Tuesday at 7am and also at the Dune café, Palm Beach, on Fridays at 7am.
There are about 30 members in the group aged from 60 to 85 years.
Anyone keen to run or walk 10km, 5km or 1.5km along a beautiful beachfront can register online at www.mateshiprun.com.au.
To make an appointment with psychologist Brett Rufus, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Veterans' Support Centre at 164 Duringan St, Currumbin, on 07 5559 5022.
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